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Blanca Iris Padilla
Tel: (919) 613-9771
Office: 2118 Pearson Building
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Blanca Iris Padilla, PhD, FNP-BC

Assistant Professor

  • Brief Bio

    Dr. Blanca (Iris) Padilla joined the Duke University School of Nursing in May, 2014. She came to Duke from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, where she taught in the MSN and DNP programs. She also served as one of the first clinic preceptors for the Vanderbilt Program in Interprofessional Learning. Her professional nursing experience also includes trauma-critical care, emergency room, and primary care. Dr. Padilla earned her BSN at Belmont University, and her MSN at Tennessee State University. Dr. Padilla’s PhD research at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis focused on acculturation, mental health characteristics, self-efficacy, and health-seeking behaviors in Hispanic women. After completing her doctorate, she had a postdoctoral fellowship and taught at the University of Michigan‒Ann Arbor.

    Dr. Padilla has provided primary care in a nurse-managed community clinic for over 10 years to socioeconomically diverse patients. She was the lead provider with a focus on diabetes mellitus. She has first-hand clinical expertise in caring for the under-privileged patient population and understands the needs of the clinic personnel/administration as they pertain to supporting and caring for these patients.

    Dr. Padilla has a strong interest in diabetes self-care, adherence, co-morbid depression, insulin initiation and education. She is continuously seeking innovative ways to foster a dynamic learning environment in academic and clinic settings with the goal of promoting quality patient care. She recently developed a web-based clinic module on diabetes management for nurse practitioners. She served as a primary research liaison between Vanderbilt investigators and clinic personnel and developed a diabetes and obesity self-management program for Tennessee Diabetes Prevention and Health Improvement. Dr. Padilla is also a co-investigator/consultant on an R01 NIH-funded intervention research project on improving medication adherence for the underserved population with Type II diabetes.

    Academic Program Affiliations

    Master of Science in Nursing Program
    Doctor of Nursing Practice Program


    PhDThe University of Tennessee Health Science Center
    MSNTennessee State University
    BSNBelmont University

    Professional Certifications

    FNP-BCFamily Nurse Practitioner - Board Certified

    Research Interests

    Dr. Padilla's research interests include:
    • Diabetes: medication adherence via texting; self-care; co-morbid depression; motivational interviewing, insulin management; reducing CVD risk; burn-out syndrome; provider education in diabetes care.
    • Chronic illness management in primary care
    • Chronic illness in vulnerable populations
    • Interprofessional education
    • Integrative health care
    • Global health